Confused

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kurt Wasson, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. Kurt Wasson

    Kurt Wasson Auditioning

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    I am the new kid on the block. I have been trying to research everything about the new TV's. I want a big screen tv. I especially want a wide screen tv, because I watch a lot of DVD's and they seem to be made for 16:9 mode.

    I am really confused about HDTV and digital tv. At present time I have analog cable. I have been reading about different receivers that are needed for HDTV signals and digital signals and two different satellites and land antenas, etc. I have also read that HDTV is not that wide spread right now.

    I guess my main question is will analog cable give me a decent picture with a widescreen TV on "just" or "full" mode? I keep hearing about Direct TV for digital feeds. If I would subscribe to direct tv, does it come with a receiver for the HDTV and the digital feeds?

    That is it for now....Please help me get on the right track.
     
  2. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Kurt:

    One question up front, what is your approx. total $ budget?

    I'll give you a few basics - mucho help surely to come from HD set owners on this board.

    "I especially want a wide screen tv, because I watch a lot of DVD's and they seem to be made for 16:9 mode."

    Excellent decision. A 16:9 HD set + good progressive DVD player will bring you much video joy if you watch lots of DVDs. Right now, I think that the Panasonic 56 is the DVD player to own for the $.

    "I have been reading about different receivers that are needed for HDTV signals and digital signals and two different satellites and land antenas, etc."

    True. Most entry level HD sets do not include the necessary HD tuner. This is an extra $500-750 purchase. New Zenith box is getting lots of praise but it is pricey. Old-school roof antenna is a good way of getting the "over the air" (free) HD transmissions. Major networks like ABC, CBS, Fox & NBC transmit this way. A satellite system will get you premium channels (HBO & SHO & HD NET). Yes, you will need either 2 dishes or a dual dish, depending on which Sat company you go with.

    "I have also read that HDTV is not that wide spread right now."

    Also true. The roof antenna may not work in your area. You may need to find an HD owner in your general area (maybe someone here on HTF) and see what kind of reception they get. I think there are websites that give you a geographic guide of HD coverage (I don't know them off hand).

    "I guess my main question is will analog cable give me a decent picture with a widescreen TV on "just" or "full" mode?"

    2 points: (1) It'll look good if you have a strong cable signal to begin with, if not, it won't. (2) realize that a stretch mode is a compromise and it is a matter of taste - some don't mind them & others hate them. Go to stores and check out the modes your self.

    I'm sure you'll get more advice.

    Good luck.

    Rich B.
     
  3. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Stunt Coordinator

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    Kurt:

    If you are really interested in HD and the best picture you can get on a DVD, I think 16:9 is the way to go. Having said that, the vast majority of current TV programming is still 4:3, and there are 4:3 HDTVs out there, so you will have to look around and make up your own mind.

    Let me give you some info about receiving cable and HD signals. There are some (few) cable companies that are now sending the local HD feeds via cable as well as HBO HD and showtime HD. In NY they are also sending some NY sports. If you go this route, the cable company will give (well, actually, rent) you the appropriate converter box. If you go with a satellite provider, either DirecTV or DISH, you will have to buy a satellite receiver which has HD capabilities. In both cases this will give you the ability to receive not only the satellite HD but also OTA HD broadcasts. For DISH you will have to purchase an inexpensive additional receiver that fits in the back of the unit. These receivers allow you to receive the usual satellite signal and whatever HD is being broadcast by that satellite company (there are alots of threads on this here and at AVSFORUM), and get whatever signals the local stations are broadcasting locally. DISH has only one receiver, but for DirecTV there are numerous. I would disagree that the Zenith is the "best." It is certainly the most expensive. There was just a price cut on the Panasonic, and the RCA which I have been using for almost two years is, in my opinion, a very good unit which can often be had for under $400.

    Currently CBSs prime time line up is almost completely HD, ABC has a lot of HD, NBC only has Leno (but has promised more in the future, including some of the Olympics), and FOX has made it clear that they will not do anything more than 480p, but a lot of their programming is 480p and 16:9.

    You will need a land antenna to pick up these local signals, but they are usually picked up more easily and with better quality than the analog signal they replace. But, there is no way to tell if you will get these signals until you actually try it.

    Good luck, whatever you choose.

    SMK
     

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